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La Palma inhabitants told to lock down as volcano lava pours into sea By Reuters


© Reuters. Lava can be seen from El Paso through a window in a kitchen after the volcanic eruption on La Palma (Canary Island), Spain, September 28, 2021. REUTERS/Jon Nazca


LA PALMA (Reuters) – Authorities in Spain’s Canary Islands told residents on the western coast of La Palma to lock down and seal doors and windows with tape and wet towels to ward off toxic gases spewed by lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

The volcano’s incandescent lava, which had been gushing for 10 days from its summit, poured down a steep cliff to the ocean floor early Wednesday morning. It also released toxic gases and steam into the air.

Reuters footage showed a red hot lava pyramid rising above the Atlantic Ocean’s waterline by dawn Wednesday.

Canary Islands Emergency Service advised anyone who was less than 3.5 km from the affected area to find shelter as soon as possible. None injuries were reported.

According to emergency services, people should “protect their breathing tracts by covering the mouth and nose with a damp cloth.”

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Cumbre Vieja has seen lava flow down its western flank toward sea from Sept. 19. It swallowed almost 600 homes and banana plantations.

In anticipation of the eruption of lava, thousands of residents were evacuated. Three villages along the coast were closed Monday.

Spain designated La Palma a catastrophe zone Tuesday. It will provide financial support to the island.

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